Equal pay a focus of IWD rallies

International Women’s Day rally, Sydney, March 12. Photo: Mat Ward

About 2000 people attended the March 12 International Women’s Day rally in Sydney. The rally demanded equal pay for women workers — specifically better pay for community sector workers.

In Adelaide, 150 women and male supporters gathered for International Women’s Day on the steps of the state Parliament House on March 10.

The crowd heard from state ALP MP Steph Key and actor Eileen Darley. Darley detailed the working women’s history of International Women’s Day and led the crowd in singing the feminist anthem, “Bread and Roses”.

Jo Willmot from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Alliance (NATSIWA) said Aboriginal women did not share many of the gains won by white women. She pointed to the recently won paid maternity leave as an example.

The crowd then marched to the State Library lawns for the launch of a NATSIWA poster celebrating the past and future struggles of Aboriginal women.

  • See slideshow of Sydney march here.
  • See slideshow of Perth march here.

In Melbourne, the 2011 International Women's Day march focused on the Pay Equity campaign initiated by the Australian Services Union (ASU). One hundred people attended the March 12 protest.

The ASU and other unions covering community sector workers are fighting to have the wages of community sector workers lifted. The wages of these workers, who are predominantly female, have been historically undervalued.

In Perth, 50 people marched through the CBD to join a women’s rights rally of a further 100 people.

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